The Zurich Corpus of Vowel and Voice Quality, Version 1.0

Dieter Maurer, Christian d’Heureuse, Heidy Suter, Volker Dellwo, Daniel Friedrichs, Thayabaran Kathiresan


Existing databases of isolated vowel sounds or vowel sounds embedded in consonantal context generally document only limited variation of basic production parameters. Thus, concerning the possible variation range of vowel and voice quality-related sound characteristics, there is a lack of broad phenomenological and descriptive references that allow for a comprehensive understanding of vowel acoustics and for an evaluation of the extent to which corresponding existing approaches and models can be generalised. In order to contribute to the building up of such references, a novel database of vowel sounds that exceeds any existing collection by size and diversity of vocalic characteristics is presented here, comprised of c. 34 600 utterances of 70 speakers (46 non-professional speakers, children, women and men and 24 professional actors/actresses and singers of straight theatre, contemporary singing and European classical singing). The database focuses on sounds of the long Standard German vowels /i–y–e–ø–ɛ–a–o–u/ produced with varying basic production parameters such as phonation type, vocal effort, fundamental frequency, vowel context and speaking or singing style. In addition, a read text and, for professionals, songs are also included. The database is accessible for scientific use and further extensions are in progress.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1542

Cite as: Maurer, D., d’Heureuse, C., Suter, H., Dellwo, V., Friedrichs, D., Kathiresan, T. (2018) The Zurich Corpus of Vowel and Voice Quality, Version 1.0. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 1417-1421, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1542.


@inproceedings{Maurer2018,
  author={Dieter Maurer and Christian d’Heureuse and Heidy Suter and Volker Dellwo and Daniel Friedrichs and Thayabaran Kathiresan},
  title={The Zurich Corpus of Vowel and Voice Quality, Version 1.0},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={1417--1421},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1542},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1542}
}